Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Donations Matched by The Balay Ko Foundation

By the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is preparing for a surge of increased need amid inflated food prices after families received their final CalFresh Emergency Allotments last [month].

The Foodbank is asking the public to help raise funds to support the children, seniors, veterans and other individuals facing food insecurity in the wake of this unprecedented loss. Thanks to the generous support of The Balay Ko Foundation, all donations up to $500,000 will be matched through June 1st, 2023.

Since the pandemic began, CalFresh – the supplemental program that helps low-income families afford nutritious food and supports local economies – has provided Emergency Allotments to those in need. In February, these Emergency Allotments abruptly expired. Households in Santa Barbara received their last CalFresh Emergency Allotment on March 26th.

Over 32,000 low-income households in Santa Barbara County will see their monthly support slashed by an average of $200 per month (California Department of Social Services, California Association of Food Banks). The estimated total annual loss of $97.92 million in Santa Barbara County will have a devastating impact on local families and businesses.

The end of CalFresh Emergency Allotments is especially concerning given the rising cost of food. The Labor Department has reported that grocery prices were 11.3% higher in January than they were the year prior (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Families with children and older adults on fixed incomes are already scrambling to make ends meet. As many households are still unaware that Emergency Allotments have ended, the Foodbank is bracing for impact.

This year’s long winter and catastrophic storms have compounded the problem, causing further economic devastation in our county. Due to the delayed harvest, destroyed crops and property damage, many of our neighbors have lost their work and their paychecks at a critical time.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is currently distributing 20% more food than it was pre-pandemic. Since January, the Foodbank has received multiple requests to expand access to food and has responded as efficiently as possible to meet the growing demand.

Beyond appealing to the public for support, the Foodbank is working on a plan to expense funds provided by CDSS for the purchase of food as part of the state’s One Time CalFood Funding Program. This will hopefully supply the Foodbank with over 300,000 lbs. of additional food inventory to be distributed over the next six months.

To make a contribution of any size, community members may donate at:

About Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County transforms hunger into health through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through a network of more than 200 partner agencies, nutrition education programs and food distribution sites. For more information, please visit


Written by FoodbankSBC

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